1. Knowing that his death was imminent, Paul charged Timothy regarding his duties
a. To stir up the gift of God given him - 2 Timothy 1:6
b. To not be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord, or of those who suffer for Him - 2 Timothy 1:8
c. To hold fast to that which he has heard, and to keep that committed to him - 2 Timothy 1:13-14
2. It is the charge in verses 13-14 that I wish to focus our attention in this study
a. For it describes the job that we have today regarding that taught by the apostles
b. The job remains the same for all Christians
A. WE MUST HOLD THEM FAST
a. Uncorrupt (true in doctrine)
b. They are sound because:
1) They are the words of God - 1 Thessalonians 2:13
2) They are the commandments of the Lord - 1 Corinthians 14:37
2. We are to hold them fast
1) This was Paul's charge to Timothy
2) This is what characterized the early church from the beginning
3) This implies that we are doers of the word, and not hearers only - James 1:21-25
b. By contending for them - Jude 1:3
1) The faith (i.e., that which we are to believe) has been delivered once for all
2) We need not look for latter day revelation
a) For God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness - 2 Peter 1:3
b) The Scriptures are sufficient to make the man of God complete, thoroughly complete for every good work - 2 Timothy 3:16-17
3) Our duty is to contend earnestly for the faith
c. Are we holding fast the teaching of the apostles by both continuing in them and contending for them?
B. WE MUST DO SO IN FAITH AND LOVE
1. We must believe in that which we are holding fast
a. In what we are holding fast (i.e., the doctrine)
b. In whom we are holding fast (i.e., the Person)
2. Also we must possess the spirit of love while holding fast
a. Love for God and His Word
3. In holding fast to the apostolic doctrine, are you doing so with sincere faith in Jesus and love for both God and man?
A. WE MUST SAFELY GUARD IT
1. Note first the process of this the gospel
a. The gospel was committed to the apostles - 1 Timothy 1:11
b. They in turn committed it to men like Timothy - 1 Timothy 6:20
c. Who in turn were to commit it to faithful men who teach others - 2 Timothy 2:2
2. Those who have received it must keep or guard it
1) 'to guard, watch, keep watch'
2) 'to keep by way of protection'
b. This is Paul's charge to Timothy - 2 Timothy 1:14
c. This is the charge of all who have received the gospel
3. Are you safely guarding what has been committed to you, by virtue of your own acceptance of the gospel?
B. WE MUST DO SO BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
1. Review what the apostles themselves teach us about the Holy Spirit and the Christian:
b. By the Spirit God strengthens the inner man - Ephesians 3:16,20
c. The Spirit produces wonderful fruit in those led by Him - Galatians 5:16-23
d. A means by which He does this is through the very Word we are to guard - Ephesians 6:17
2. Thus we must equip ourselves with the Word of God
a. Receiving it, as it effectively works in those who believe it - 1 Thessalonians 2:13
b. Doing it, as it blesses those who are doers and not hearers only - James 1:25
4. Are we letting the Spirit's Sword equip us that we may in turn guard it safely?
1. Our duty to Apostolic teaching is very clear
a. We must hold fast the pattern of sounds words, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus
b. We must keep (guard) that which has been committed to us, by the Holy Spirit in us
2. It is not enough to simply know the words given to us by the apostles
a. We must continue in them and contend for them, in both faith and love
b. We must safely guard them, with the aid of the Holy Spirit
3. The fact that we are Christians today is evidence of previous generations being true to this charge; will the same be said of us?
4. Will later generations be grateful that we were faithful in keeping Our Duty To Apostolic Teaching?
-- Don Treadway, February 2011 --